Is Your Organization in an Innovation Rut?

By Elaine Dundon

Innovation cannot thrive in organizations that are in an "innovation rut!" Find out whether this applies to your organization. Take a look at the following 25 statements and place a checkmark beside the statements that you believe reflect its current state of affairs.

See below for scoring information.

Check the statements you agree with:
1. Our products or services have lost their competitive edge.
2. We lack consensus on what we would like to see happen within our organization in the next few years.
3. We spend more time on discussing the present and the past than we do on looking to the future.
4. We spend more time on internal issues than on pleasing our external customers.
5. We rarely acknowledge and discuss our weaknesses.
6. We rarely invite "outsiders" in to give us another perspective.
7. We've stopped challenging the "way it's done around here."
8. Valuable information is being held too tightly and not shared.
9. Our planning process is inadequate for today's marketplace.
10. We don't take the time to discuss alternative approaches or options for improvement.
11. We think too small when we could be thinking BIG.
12. We don't spend enough time identifying new ideas.
13. We don't spend enough time developing new ideas.
14. Great ideas often get blocked in our "system."
15. Most of our ideas are incremental ideas or very small changes to what we are already doing.
16. Our decision-making processes are too slow.
17. I am unsure how decisions are made.
18. Our organization is bureaucratic with too many layers, rules and policies.
19. Good ideas are often underfunded.
20. Good ideas are often understaffed.
21. People complain that our organization is not very innovative.
22. Innovation efforts are not rewarded or recognized.
23. Good people are leaving our organization for better opportunities elsewhere.
24. There is too much internal competition.
25. People aren't really enjoying their work.


Total number of checks

Consider your total score. As in golf, the lower the score the better. If your score consisted of eight or fewer checkmarks, congratulations! Your organization seems to be on its way to becoming an Innovation Powerhouse. If your score was nine to sixteen checkmarks, your organization could definitely benefit from implementing an innovation agenda. However, if your score was more than seventeen checkmarks, your organization is undoubtedly in an Innovation Rut and needs to take corrective action immediately.

Click here for more information about The Seeds of Innovation

Click here to read a sample chapter from the book.

Back to Top

American Management Association © Copyright 1997-